Iona Island, NY (Hudson River) Arsenal Explosion, Nov 1903

EXPLOSION AT UNITED STATES NAVAL ARSENAL.

DEATH AND DESTRUCTION AT LARGE MAGAZINE AT IONA ISLAND, N.Y.

Iona Island, N.Y., Nov. 4. -- Six men were killed and ten slightly injured this afternoon by an explosion at the United States naval arsenal, one of the largest magazines in the United States, which is located here, on the Hudson River, forty miles from New York City.
The explosion occurred while men were drawing the explosive charges from a consignment of old shells recently sent here from the battleship Massachusetts.
List of Killed:
FREDERICK LOCKE, Peekskill.
FREDERICK BROWN, Haverstraw.
PATRICK CURRAN, Haverstraw.
GEORGE MOOREHEAD, Tomkins Cove.
JAMES CONOLLY, Peekskill.
FREDERICK WARD, Stony Point.
Partial List of Injured:
OTTO FRIES, Chief Gunner, badly cut and bruised.
FREDERICK ANDERSON, badly cut and bruised.
FRANK KERWIN, scalp laid open, seriously hurt.
Three massive shell houses were completely destroyed and a rain of fragments of projectiles of all sizes were scattered in every direction. The force of the explosion or series of explosions broke windows at Peekskill, three miles below, and the detonation was heard for many miles. Adjacent buildings, including two store houses for fixed ammunition, were riddled with the fragments, and the eleven largest, composing the garrison, were completely demolished. The dead were workmen employed by the naval ordnance department. The detonation of part of the charge of a shell being exploded in shell house No. 1 exploded all the other shells in the house and the fragments of shells driven into the adjoining house exploded their contents. There were two main explosions, with an interval or several minutes between, and a succession of minor ones as individual shells went off. Fire then followed and for several hours the marines who fought the fire were in imminent danger from constantly exploding shells.

The Titusville Herald Pennsylvania 1903-11-05